Two close allies of President Duterte will be joining the Cabinet as special advisers.
Former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. is back in government this time as Presidential Adviser on Streamlining of Government Processes with the rank of Secretary.
Information and Communications Undersecretary Ramon Jacinto has been named Presidential Adviser for Telecommunications. His post will also have the rank of Secretary.
The appointment papers of the two officials were signed by the President last week, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
Roque has welcomed Evasco back to the government, voicing confidence he could effectively streamline government processes.
“PA Evasco is not new in the Duterte Administration having served as Cabinet Secretary in the early years of the current administration,” Roque said. “His familiarity with the present bureaucracy would contribute greatly in his new task of streamlining government processes in the Executive,” he added.
Evasco resigned from his post as Cabinet Secretary in 2018 to run for governor of Bohol in the 2019 elections. He lost in the local polls. Evasco, a former rebel priest, previously served as mayor of Maribojoc, Bohol. He was also Duterte’s campaign manager in the 2016 presidential elections.
On the new post of Jacinto, Roque expressed confidence in his competence to serve as the President’s telecoms adviser.
“PA Jacinto has served the Duterte Administration in various capacities. He was the former Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Technology and later became Undersecretary of the Department of information and Communications Technology,” Roque said.
“We are therefore confident that PA Jacinto would ably and effectively discharge his duties in this new assignment,” he added.
Prior to his new appointment, Jacinto, a musician and businessman, was named DICT undersecretary last May.
He previously held the post as Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Technology in July 2016.